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Old 05-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #31
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Memphis Metro Area
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couple thoughts for you...


Obviously there are no words which will make this feel better, but I am going to try anyway.

A very good friend of mine lost his entire house to a garage fire last year. Luckily for him (as was the case with you) no human loss. I have been helping him through the process and watching from a distance. The only real positive light I can shed is that his insurance company has been very "stand up" and in the end he will come out ahead with a nicer house on the same lot. Clearly the sentimental stuff can't be replaced, but I just wanted you to feel like maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

As for the battery...simply so the rest of us can you know if the fire was caused by a bad charger, bad battery, faulty wires in the garage, etc? I don't mean to make you rehash the whole event, but the more info you can share with us will hopefully eliminate the possibility of this happening to someone else.

I generally leave batteries on a trickle charger in my garage all the time, but now I am having second thoughts...

Good luck, my friend.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:36 PM   #32
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:49 PM   #33
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Sorry to read this mate.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #34
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Hang in there Brent. Glad everyone was OK. Hopefully insurance will replace all your material losses.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Lobster View Post

As for the battery...simply so the rest of us can you know if the fire was caused by a bad charger, bad battery, faulty wires in the garage, etc? I don't mean to make you rehash the whole event, but the more info you can share with us will hopefully eliminate the possibility of this happening to someone else.

I generally leave batteries on a trickle charger in my garage all the time, but now I am having second thoughts...
Think of how many millions of lead acid batteries are on charge right now in millions of homes, from UPS’s, alarms, cars, power tools etc. The exotic batteries, lithium based need to be treated with care and lithium-ion polymer shouldn’t be left to charge out of sight.

If you’re worried buy yourself a battery charging bag, the bag seals with charger and battery inside, it breaths but is fire retardant and will contain batteries that go bang, lithium-ion polymer or catch on fire.
Beauty is truth and truth is beauty.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:25 PM   #36
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Joined: May 2012
Location: Southeastern U.S.
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Testsycl Battery???

Originally Posted by AdvGa View Post
If you don't mind, can you tell us what Brand of Trickle charger was suspect?

All the Best!
Wondered this too.
In a April 11th post the OP stated he used a Testsycl battery in his 950... no details about which charger.

In the spirit of the OP's good advice;
Cats visiting shelves where-upon a candle is lit can start a fire. When the cat lands, the shelf flips, candle falls and starts a blaze. Screw the shelf to the wall or curiosity might kill the cat. Happened to me, I woke in a sweat longing for more sleep.... sat up to discard my blanket and was jolted from my smoke induced daze by a searing sensation on the tips of my ears, only then did I notice the dancing orange shadows, and billowing black ceiling... oh and the cat wanted outside verrrry badly.

I cannot express what a relief it is that your wife and son are safe, having lost a wife and daughter (not by fire or fault) I will pray that you all emerge stronger, and rejoice that you have your lives together to look forward to.
Less pondering. Simply march ahead, to the ends of this majestic planet.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:42 PM   #37
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Oh man Brent, I am so sorry to read this. I am happy your wife is ok though. You will make it through this, as bad as it all is, it is still better than it could have been.
You can outdistance that which is running after you,
but not what is running inside of you
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:44 PM   #38
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Im so sorry to read this. If there was anything you needed help with, do post it hear. I am sure you will get help.

I had a bad episode in my life just recently. The only thing that help me keep going was this : Life must go on.
04 ADV 950
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:20 PM   #39
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I'm so sorry to read about this Brent.
It is times like this that you will truly find out how much your family and friends mean to you (and how much you mean to them).
Be strong for your family and you will all come out closer and stronger because of this tragedy.
And of course, your extended family here on AdvRider wishes you and your family well.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:31 PM   #40
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This is some really bad news. I am glad to hear that the damages are limited only to property. Your kid is going to have a hell of birthday story to tell for the rest of his life. I wish you and your family a fast and easy, as possible, recovery process.

04 KTM ADV 950S GO!!!!!
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:54 PM   #41
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Sorry to hear this Brent....

I'm glad to hear that everyone is physically ok. The mental recovery is a slower process. I'm surprised to hear that it was a trickle charger that created the problem, I thought it was usually the regular battery charger/Jump start variety that created situations like this. Let me know if you need any help with the claim process, I've been in the insurance business for 20 years now. I might be able to help with some suggestions about how to compile your lists, etc. Be sure to take as many photos as possible before things start getting thrown away. Photos of everything, burned or not. They will be invaluable as you try to remember what was in "that "drawer, or "that" box. The pictures will save/make you thousands in things you might have forgotten. Ask the adjustor to explain the process for "Replacement Coverage" in detail, it's frequently misunderstood. Good luck
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:43 PM   #42
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I've lost many things to fires, banks and people and it's true that the emotions will always be with you.
One thing that I've learned, is that they're just things and with time you get them back

Really glad your family is through this safe and the best of luck with what lies ahead
DRCOOL rides with me
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:10 PM   #43
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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the positive comments, that's been really nice to read. Here's some more details;

The charger was one of the larger car style chargers with the charge or start option. I purchased it from my local Batteries Plus about 9 months ago, it was in good condition, and I was using it on the slow charge or 'trickle' setting. My fire investigator and insurance investigator agree that the fire started with either the charger or battery itself, but not with the wiring leading from the outlet to the charger. The battery and charger were both under the bike, and once it lit the bike was the roman candle. Thats all I know. The 950 literally ceased to exist there was so little left.

The 660 is a little different. The tanks melted off the bike and the bars burned in half, but much of the bike still exists. In fact, it is still on the kickstand on the bike lift where it was when the fire started. The FD just rolled the whole lift out into the driveway.

The Mustang is a heart breaker, but I may be able to save it. The front of the Mustang was only 5' from the back wheel of the bikes, but the steel chassis held up to the heat better. After the FD rolled the car out of the garage (these were the only tires that didnt burn), I jokingly asked the FD if they cared if I tried to start the car. I figured if it was going to catch fire at least I had them on site! They didnt care, so I hit the key and it fired! I only ran it for a second, and when I shut it down all the lights went crazy from shorted wires/burned harness, so I just unhooked the battery and closed the hood. But there is life! The down side is that I have about $45k into my restoration and the insurance today offered me $10,700. Just a touch short.

But as we have all said, the family (and amazing all my pets) are safe. Nothing else matters. Literally nothing. Then I start to look around and the stuff gets depressing, but only in the context that the family is safe. If this fire had been at night, it would have been different. My house is 40 years old, but when I bought it I put in A/C powered smoke detectors with battery back-up to current code, but they didnt work real well. When my wife left the house in her towel, and I went in, the smoke was about 3-4' thick from the ceiling down but the detectors were silent. I wasnt until perhaps another 3-4 minutes had passed and the smoke was down almost to the floor that I first heard the detectors. Thankfully, that detail didnt matter.

Thanks again for all the positive thoughts guys.

If anyone has any leads on 660's for sale or recent sales that can help establish a value on my bike, that would be appreciated.

And I promise, once I get to a real computer, there will be pictures. It is amazing.


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Old 05-23-2012, 10:35 PM   #44
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Sorry to hear about this.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:03 AM   #45
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Glad the the important things are safe and sound. The rest can be replaced.

Battery chargers are one of the things I'm vigilant about not leaving unattended. I've gotten home and realised that I left a charger hooked up. No matter what I was supposed to do, I dropped it and went back to disconnect.

Top 3 things that I worry the most about setting shop?garage fires are:

Battery charger
Air compressor left on
Solvent rags

The last 2 I have witnessed.
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